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Telluride Mountainfilm 2015: Inspiring Films, Panels, Presentations & People

May 22nd, 2015

Mountainfilm_Osprey_Packs

Mountainfilm is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing and conversations worth sustaining.

Telluride Mountainfilm: The Festival

Started in 1979, Telluride Mountainfilm is one of America’s longest-running film festivals. Through the years, in and out of trends and fads, the festival has always been best described by one unchanging word: inspiring. Far more than any other adjective, that’s how festival audiences describe their experience.

In addition to screening leading independent documentary films from around the world, the festival includes a full-day symposium on a contemporary issue, art and photography exhibits, early morning coffee talks, outdoor programs, a book-signing party, an ice cream social, student programs and a closing picnic/awards ceremony.

Osprey Packs is proud to be an Official Sponsor of Telluride Mountainfilm, taking place May 22-25, 2015.

The 37th annual Telluride Mountainfilm festival brings together a community of filmmakers, authors, adventurers, musicians, activists and artists for a weekend of incredible, inspiring events.

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Event Highlights from the 2015 Festival Schedule:
Friday: 2015 Gallery Walk – Opening Reception | Film: Denali
Saturday: Growing Up Around the World & Adrenaline 2015 | Film: The Diplomat
Sunday: Photographing the Dark Sky | Film Series: The Story of Place

 

We’re pleased to announce that Mountainfilm’s 2015 Special Guests include Osprey Ambassador Shannon Galpin:

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National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and global activist Shannon Galpin has been working and traveling in Afghanistan for 8 years and is the founder of the nonprofit Mountain2Mountain, which has spearheaded dozens of projects in Afghanistan. Galpin created the Streets of Afghanistan photography installation and has supported graffiti artists and photographers in Kabul. In 2009, she became the first person to mountain bike in Afghanistan, and she now supports and trains the first Afghan Women’s National Cycling team and two other female bike clubs. She is the author of two books, her memoir, Mountain to Mountain: A Journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan, and a photo book, Streets of Afghanistan. Galpin is a producer on the documentary Afghan Cycles, a 2016 film by Let Media. The International Olympic Committee awarded Galpin an Honorary Achievement Diploma in 2015 for her work promoting gender equity through sports. Galpin and her work have been featured around the world, including in The New York Times, “Dateline NBC,” Outside magazine, “BBC World News,” “NBC Nightly News,” ESPN, CNN and NPR.

For more information on #Mfilm15:

Learn “How to Mountainfilm

Get the Mountainfilm Mobile App

Festival Passes & Tickets

Check out Outside Magazine’s Top 10 films to watch at this year’s festival

Read more about the Made in Colorado presentation

Keep up with #Mfilm15 events:

Active Lifestyle, adventure, Events, film festivals, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , ,

Dirt Rag’s Dirt Fest – Pennsylvania’s Mountain Bike Festival!

May 15th, 2015

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There are 33 miles of smooth, fast, flowing trails surrounding Raystown Lake, the largest lake in Pennsylvania. They range from beginner to expert level in three stacked loops, making for endless combinations. This sustainably-built trail system is open year-round to all users, is owned by the Friends of Raystown Lake, and is maintained by the volunteer efforts of the Raystown Mountain Biking Association.


 

Dirt Fest is here — and we’re ready to get dirty at Dirt Rag Magazine’s epic annual celebration of mountain biking in the hilly and lush region of Raystown Lake, PA. We can’t resist a weekend of single track, clinics by top athletes in the industry, time on the lake, and camping out with our fellow diehard MTB enthusiasts — so we are flying 1,800 miles east from Colorado to join the fun! If you are attending, then swing by the Osprey Packs Dirtfest booth for some of the following:

Osprey Pack Demos: Our 2015 pack lineup for bikes is extensive & comprehensive — but you don’t have to take our word for it! Swing by the Osprey booth to talk with our in-house cycling pack experts to figure out which of our pack options will best enhance your cycling experience.

We’ve got great offerings like the Syncro Series, which features Osprey’s ventilated AirSpeed and is perfect should it get humid on the trail in PA. Also of note is our Escapist Series, highly versatile packs that are full-featured and equipped for a variety of adventures. Be sure to check out the 2015 Zealot, which meets the evolving needs of enduro mountain bike racing. Stop by the booth to see and try out the  fleet of select Osprey packs available for free demo.

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Best Swag You Eva Had! Just another great reason to stop by the Osprey Packs booth — we’ll be giving away custom Osprey hats, coozies for your bevy, organic lip balm, and much more!


 Learn More about Dirt Rag:

Schedule of Events

Map of Trails

Facebook


 

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Dominion Riverrock – Rocking on the James River!

May 15th, 2015

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The fusion of music, outdoor events, good people, great times and the city of Richmond, VA’s unique personality make Dominion Riverrock one of the most dynamic and entertaining summer festivals in the East!

Dominion Riverrock provides a awesomely curated experience for all of those who attend. Whether your interests are mountain biking, trail running, kayaking, adventure racing or even the air dog dock competition for your canine, this event celebrates the great outdoors while being extremely accessible in the heart of Richmond and set against the stunning backdrop of the James River. This event is one at which Osprey is able to connect with both avid, longtime pack-users and those just discovering the outdoors.

What better way to spend a weekend in Richmond than on Brown’s Island with free music, multiple outdoor clinics, competitions and +50 sponsors and vendors to check out?

We’re excited to head back east again this year for the weekend, making it the 3rd consecutive year Osprey Packs has been the “Official Backpack” of Dominion Riverrock! This premier event is a fantastic way to get outdoors this spring and get ready for summer — Dominion Riverrock fuses some of our favorite activities, like live music, top outdoor athlete competitors, and great clinics to help outdoor enthusiasts at any level step up their game and learn from some incredible athletes.

Come celebrate the beautiful community of Richmond at Dominion Riverrock – and while you’re enjoying Brown’s Island, be sure to stop by the Osprey Packs booth for some awesome prizes, free gear and much more! Here are DRR_403x403_Demo-Packsjust a few reasons why you should stop by and say “Hi!”

Osprey Pack Demos: Competing at Dominion Riverrock or thinking about taking about a fun run through the Richmond? Swing by the Osprey booth to experience the fit that Osprey is known for and try out one of the technical trail running packs in fast & light  Rev Series or the Syncro Series, which features Osprey’s ventilated AirSpeed (perfect for those humid days on the trail). We’ll have a full demo fleet of select Osprey packs available for you to demo and take for a spin.

Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative & maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other. Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™ sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what this award-winning pack feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG™ out at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.

Blue Sky Fund Ladder Toss: Come Support Blue Sky & enter-to-win an Osprey pack! Donate $2 to benefit the Blue Sky Fund, a non-profit providing outdoor experiences for Richmond’s urban youth, and enter to win a new pack! Test your skills at “Ladder Toss” to win an Osprey hat, shirt, watter bottle, compression sack or even one of our Daylite packs!

Osprey Athlete Ben Clark: Mountaineer, endurance runner, filmmaker & all-around great guy Ben Clark will be attending Dominion Riverrock as well this year. Ben will be joining the Central Virginia Trailblazers for a day of hikes on Saturday, May 17th and Sunday, May 18th. Sign up with the Central Virginia Trailblazers for one of his hikes on either days!


(C) Image Machine LLC

Keep up with Dominion Riverrock on social media to so you can stay up-to-date on all of this weekend’s fun events:

Hashtag #Riverrock
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Instagram

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Trail Days: Celebrating the People and Traditions of the Appalachian Trail

May 14th, 2015

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The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.

Known as the “A.T.,” it has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the Trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the A.T. for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to experience a simpler life. Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Osprey Packs has proudly attended AT Trail Days for more consecutive years (12 in total!) than any other Osprey-sponsored event. Mid-May is a gorgeous time of year on the Appalachian Trail and the city of Damascus, VA is full of some of our favorite people: thru-hikers! Thru-hikers typically hike a long-distance trail end-to-end (like the Appalachian Trail) and are a special group of outdoor enthusiasts whose commitment to backpacking parallels our own. Backpacking is an activity deeply ingrained in our company heritage — our founder and Head Designer Mike Pfotenhauer’s passion for backpacking was one of the reasons he founded Osprey Packs 41 years ago in 1974.

Thru-hikers continually inspire us with their commitment, tenacity and gumption, which is one of the reasons we support backpacking and community-oriented events like Trail Days and initiatives like the Thru-Hike Syndicate. We look forward to the opportunity to give back and support the hikers’ efforts by providing the them (and larger community of Damascus) with free gear repairs and much more during the fun Trail Days celebration May 15-17, 2015.


 

Trail Days gets better every year — here are just a few reasons you should stop by the Osprey booth:

“Long Start to the Journey” Premiere:

Join us for a documentary film premiere directed by Osprey Ambassador and filmmaker Chris Gallaway who documented his efforts to complete the AT Trail in “The Long Start to the Journey”

Date: Friday, May 15th, 2015

Time: 9:00 PM

Location: Rock School

The Long Start to the Journey – Trailer 1 from Horizonline Pictures on Vimeo.

Free onsite gear repairs: We’re offering gear repairs for all AT Thru-hikers at Osprey’s Tent City location for the duration of the event, Thursday through Saturday, 9AM-6PM. Come out and see the work of Master Repair Tech Jason “Jimi” Boblitt (he also shreds on Air Guitar!) and PackMaster Otis, who after years of practice has perfected his amazing “Kung-Fu” Pack repair techniques. Stop by, get your gear trail-ready and see the masters at work!

The Crew at Work

“Guess Your Own Pack Weight” Contest: How much do you think you’re luggin’ around in that pack of yours? Well, we can tell you! Guess within a pound of your pack weight and win some Osprey goodies! Giveaways happening Thursday through Friday – so bring by the pack!

Osprey’s “Repair Your Own Pack” Clinic:

NOTE: Limited Spots! The first 20 to sign up will receive free food, drinks, an Osprey Packs Repair Kit, Custom Osprey Pint Glass and custom Osprey hat – make sure you sign up!AG Fit Station_Final_resend

Date: Friday, May 16th, 2015

Time: 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Location: Osprey Booth

Our Team will go over everything in our BC Repair kit along and how to use it while out on the trail:

  • Removing Buckles
  • Installing Quick Attached buckles
  • How to repair a tent pole with our tent pole section (something that McNett sells)
  • How to repair and stitch a hole in both mesh and fabric
  • We will go over the whip stitch
  • How to repair a zipper in the field
  • How to repair a zipper slider in the field
  • When to use duct tape (and when NOT to)

Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative. And maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other.  Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™  sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what it feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG for yourself at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.


For more information over Trail Days, check out their site and Facebook:

Schedule

Vendors and Exhibitors

Facebook


2015 Thru-Hike Syndicate

The 2015 Thru-Hike Syndicate is out on both the Appalachian & Pacific Crest Trails!

We’ve once again partnered with our friends at Vasque Footwear, Darn Tough Vermont Socks, NEMO Equipment, & LEKI to support a group of 20 incredible thru-hikers on the AT and PCT.

Follow the Thru-Hike Syndicate on Instagram for updates from the hikers along their journeys to complete two of North America’s most epic hikes.

 

Facts About The Appalachian Trail

Information via Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Support the AT Conservancy

The A.T. was completed in 1937 and is a unit of the National Park System. The A.T. is managed under a unique partnership between the public and private sectors that includes, among others, the National Park Service (NPS), the USDA Forest Service (USFS), an array of state agencies, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and 31 local Trail-maintaining clubs.

  • About 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.
  • The A.T. has hundreds of access points and is within a few hours drive of millions of Americans, making it a popular destination for day-hikers
  • “Thru-hikers” walk the entire Trail in a continuous journey. “Section-hikers” piece the entire Trail together over years. “Flip-floppers” thru-hike the entire Trail in discontinuous sections to avoid crowds, extremes in weather, or start on easier terrain
  • 1 in 4 who attempt a thru-hike successfully completes the journe
  • Most thru-hikers walk north, starting in Georgia in spring and finishing in Maine in fall, taking an average of 6 months
  • Foods high in calories and low in water weight, such as Snickers bars and Ramen Noodles, are popular with backpackers, who can burn up to 6,000 calories a day
  • Hikers usually adopt “trail names” while hiking the Trail. They are often descriptive or humorous. Examples are “Eternal Optimist,” “Thunder Chicken,” and “Crumb-snatcher”.

Active Lifestyle, AT Trail, Backpacking, causes, Conservation, Events, Hiking, Non-profits, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Outdoor Activities, SouthEast, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett’s favorite places to ski…or MTB?

March 28th, 2015

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“My Favorite Places to Ski, Part 2″ was to be the subject of this post.The weather has been so strange this year (I’ll save that rant forlater), that I pondered writing my favorite places to mountain bike instead. Then is started snowing again! So instead I’ll write about where I’ve skied and biked recently. Quite a year it is when you can do both in the same day!

Whistler, BC, Canada has long been a favorite place for me. Big alpine lines, impressive backcountry access, beyond-stellar views, big big big…the list goes on and on.

 

Since I’m a small town girl, I adore staying in Pemberton, BC instead of in the fancy Whistler resort. Only a half hour away, Pemberton’s lush valley is surrounded by animal, veggie and berry farms, with mountains like Mt. Curry rising 8,000 feet above. For food, don’t miss Mile One – burgers with local Pemby Beef that are to die for, especially with toppings like handmade goat cheese.

The Whistler/Blackcomb resort is so massive that finding a local guide is essential to link the goods together. They do offer free guided tours (check the map/grooming report/big boards for info) or just post on Facebook before heading there and find a friend or friend of friend to guide you. Unless you want to spend a lot of time on lifts or looking at vistas, choose either Whistler or Blackcomb to ski for any given day.

The backcountry is vast, and often requires a sled, but I’ve found plenty great stuff via skins as well. The Duffy is one of the local classic places to go tour. This video below is of Alaska, but it reminds me of the alpine terrain in that area:

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So while there last week, the skiing was, well, just ok. Temps had gotten so warm the week before, going above freezing in the valley and all the way to the summits way above. BUMMER. Alas, Whistler and Blackcomb are so extensive, that we even had fun cruising all the groomers. I had fun testing my new Meier Skis – a new women’s prototype that we are working on together that will launch next season. Like our new graphic? Its in the photo above. Venturing off piste was sketchy, slide for life conditions to say the least. So we puckered ourselves just a bit anyway – why not?

Since our backcountry plans got stuffed (no snow on the approaches), we turned to mountain biking those areas instead. Why not? Since my plush Juliana was at home in Colorado, I demoed a more appropriate gravity bike 65 degrees of slackness and 6 front and back to ease my fears from Bike Co. Even though I make a living teaching Mountain Bike camps with Osprey Packs, I wanted to push my own riding. So my friend Susan set me up with Pro-Downhiller and MTB Coach Sylvie Allen and Sweet Skills Mountain Bike Coaching. Whoop, whoop! She took my riding to a new level, with a bit of boosted confidence from my plush ride. One line in particular, to the side of the main Cream Puff trail, had me puckered with its slanting fall line but with some help, voila! Thanks Sylvie! Here is a short video of some of the splendor:

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Up next this year: KEEN Rippin Chix Mountain Bike Camps with complimentary Osprey Packs hydration pack demos. I’m hoping the new Osprey Zealots will be in the mail this week, so that you can try them in my upcoming MTB skills and singletrack camps in Fruita, followed by Eagle/Vail, Paonia, Crested Butte, and Moab.

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This hydration pack not only has all my favorite great looks and features (bite valve/hose magnet, rigid reservoir, helmet carrying fixins, special tool compartment/carrying system, etc), but also enables carrying of your more gravity oriented equipment.

Active Lifestyle, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, Snowsports , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2015 Red Rock Rendezvous: Climbing, Clinics, Demos, and More!

March 25th, 2015

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As Spring blooms, so does our excitement for the 12th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous which takes place in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas, NV and is hosted by Osprey Packs retailer Mountain Gear. This year is guaranteed to be a great one — attendees will be coming in from across the nation to enjoy a weekend of climbing, clinics, demos, storytelling and much more!

Those interested in experiencing premiere rock climbing, desert single-track mountain biking, trail running and much more will gather at the mighty red rocks that overlook the event. The crowd will range from top outdoor industry brands to expert outdoor athletes to novice enthusiasts interested in learning more – everyone is welcome and all RRR attendees will leave after an experience like no other!

What’s going on March 27-29, 2015 at

Red Rock Rendezvous:

Clinics with Exceptional Athletes: Mountain biking, climbing, running, or general backcountry skills – you name it and there’s a clinic for it! With over 75+ clinics, you’re bound to find something that interests you. Taught by experts in the field, these clinics provide a unique, hands-on experience in a small group setting.

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Dyno Competition, Dance Parties, Pancake Eating Contest and More! Be sure to check the schedule because this weekend is jampacked with a variety of fun games, on-site events, and presentations. You won’t want to miss the famous Red Rock Rendezvous Dyno Comp. in which participants put their dynamic climbing skills to the test! The same goes for the live music and other games put on by the sponsors of Red Rock Rendezvous — there’s a lot of fun to be had this weekend in the desert!

 Now that you have an idea of what Red Rock Rendezvous is all about, let’s fill you in on what’s happening at the Osprey Packs booth:

NEW for Spring 2015: Come by to check out the latest at Osprey Packs as we will have our select Spring ’15 product such as the Syncro Series and the revolutionary Atmos/Aura Anti-Gravity Series, and much more! Our on-site staff will show you all the latest and greatest and will be able to answer any questions you may have!AG Fit Station_Final_resend

Demo Packs at Red Rock Rendezvous and Feel the Osprey Difference:  We’ve got your back and will have our demo fleet of bike, climbing, and running packs available all weekend! Stop by the booth and talk with our team of expert pack fitters and outdoor enthusiasts who can help you make the best selection for your needs. Available demo packs at RRR include our Endurance/Trail packs, the Rev Series and 2015 Syncro Series as well as our Vertical Endeavor packs like the Mutant Series and Variant Series!

Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative. And maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other.  Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™  sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what it feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG for yourself at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.

Trail Running Clinics with Osprey Athlete Ben Clark: Interested in getting on the trail? Learn from the best at RRR — Osprey Athlete Ben Clark will be available to share his knowledge of trail running with anyone interested in pursing this growing outdoor endeavor!

Wscreen-shot-2014-11-28-at-8-09-23-pmin an Osprey Pack: Have 3 minutes to spare? Great! Couldn’t be easier to enter to win! Take our short event survey for a chance to win an Osprey pack!

“Creme de la Creme” Giveaways: Just another great reason to stop by the Osprey Packs booth — we’ll be giving away custom Osprey hats, coozies for your bevy, organic lipbalm, and much more!

 

Needless to say, it will be a great time in the desert and we hope to see you there! Don’t forget to the visit Red Rock Rendezvous Facebook page for updates!

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Active Lifestyle, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Riding Cancer into the Ground

March 15th, 2015

Riding to work - phto by U of C photographer

I woke up at the usual time, 5:30 AM, on the morning of my last radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

It had been a long haul; from diagnosis of the most aggressive form of what is more typically a slow-growing cancer in October 2011, to surgery in November. Then started the 38 radiation treatments: five days a week for two months during the summer of 2012. I had asked my radiation oncologist, Dr. Stanley Liauw at the University Of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, if I would able to ride my bike to every treatment. It was a 44-mile round-trip from my home in Evanston, a northern suburb along Lake Michigan, to the Cancer Center in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South side.

“Well,” Stan said, “we’ll see how you feel about halfway through.” Read more…

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We’re Headed to Outerbike in Moab, UT – March 13 – 15

March 12th, 2015

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“Test out the all of the latest and greatest bikes on the world-class trails of Moab, Utah. For three days, the world’s best bike and gear manufacturers will be set up at the Outerbike Expo site. You can walk through and see next year’s innovations, pick a bike you’d like to try and take it for a ride.

Repeat as needed.

There are 20 miles of connected loops that range from fun and easy to technical and gnarly. Your registration fee buys you access to the all the bikes, lunches, shuttled rides, prizes, movies and entrance to our evening parties.”

You heard right – it’s Mountain Bike Season and we are kicking it off in Moab, Utah — a stone’s throw away from our hometown of Cortez, CO!

This weekend, March 13th-15th, join Osprey Packs and 20+ other bike industry companies for a weekend of demos, parties and over 20 miles of trail loops with options for every riders skill-set! Don’t miss any of the fantastic after hours events including free film premieres, Happy Hours and much more – check out the schedule of events for complete details.

While you’re getting your MTB season kicked off properly in Moab, don’t forget to stop by the Osprey Packs booth for some Outerbike Magic!

Here are just a few reason why you should stop by and say “HI” this weekend:

Find the Osprey pack of your Dreams - Our dedicated & knowledgeable event staff, Jeff and Patrick, would love to help you find the perfect match for your on the trail adventures. Stop by our booth to see a fullSyncro20_S15_Back_VelocityGreen line of Osprey Packs Bike products, ranging from our re-vamp downhill/enduro specific pack — the Zealot 15 — to our improved Syncro Series, which offers the Osprey ventilated AirSpeed™ suspension for those hot days on the trail.

Can’t make up your mind? Demo it! – We have options for everyone and will be offering product demos throughout the entire weekend so you’re sure to get the right gear for you. Experience the custom fit and functionality that Osprey is known for by taking one of our packs out on the trail. We’ll have a limited supply of day packs and reservoirs available for you to demo so don’t delay and be sure to stop by the booth to check them out!

Premiere Giveaways - Like free stuff? Well then our tent is the place to be. We’ll be handing out the exceptional Osprey coozies, chapsticks and much more!

Win a Pack! – Couldn’t be easier to enter in to win with our 3 minute event survey for a chance to win an Osprey Pack! We will announce a winner daily.

 

Active Lifestyle, Bike, Bikes Around the World, causes, Ditch Your Car, Events, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Product, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Busby Yurt Raising

March 11th, 2015

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The weekend we raised our yurt this past summer was one of the most wild experiences of my life. Post-weekend, my knuckles were swollen, I would wake up nightly to unconsciously scratching of mosquito bites on my legs, and I had a handful of cuts and bruises that lasted a few weeks. But at the end of the day, we had a yurt!

The whole experience was, for the most part, smooth. It was challenging — yes. It was time consuming. But it was fun! And it was rad that we had friends come out and help with various parts of the raising. From hands-on help from the start, to homemade mojitos and jalapeño poppers mid-day, borrowed tools and a trailer, responses to frantic text messages… all the kindness from our support network here in Montana was slightly overwhelming.

For one, I learned that yurts are totally beginner friendly. With a little common sense and planning ahead, I really think anyone can do it. Our advantage came from first disassembling the yurt from the woman we purchased it from, and then building it back up again.

Initially, we called Hayes, the owner of Shelter Designs in Missoula, and asked him if we could hire him for the yurt raising, as the yurt we purchased was a Shelter Designs yurt. There are a lot of moving parts, and Hayes is a great crowd organizer… he knows what needs to get done. Obviously, he does this for a living. When Sean asked him, Hayes basically said (paraphrasing here), “I’m pretty busy this summer, but I think you guys can handle it. I’ll send you a DVD.”

I thought… A DVD. Really? What are we doing here, baking cookies or building a house?

But when we actually watched the DVD, we knew Hayes was right. It explained everything from start to finish, with super detailed instructions—exactly the things he would have been telling us had he been here. So we would do a few tasks on the yurt, and then watch some DVD on a laptop… go back to yurt stuff, have lunch, and watch a little more DVD. That got us through it. That DVD was the key to building our yurt.

Here are a few shots from the big day. Arranging the windows, doorways and lattice walls:

Our buddy Mikey, placing the tension cable through the tops of the lattice walls:

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The cable is made to fit our 30-foot yurt EXACTLY. Thus, it takes a bit of time to wiggle it through the lattice walls perfectly enough for this hook to actually lock.

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Brandon, Sean and Mikey, prepping to lift that ring (at their feet) above their heads and start placing the beams, which connect to the outer lattice walls. This is the most dangerous part of a yurt raising… those beams are heavy!

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A nervous smile from me on the ground. My job was to run around the yurt like a crazy woman, handing the guys one end of a beam, and placing the other end of the beam on the cable in the precise spot. Luckily, we only had a few tense moments, one of which involved a beam nailing me in the arm. I had a massive bruise to show for that one.

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Until the first five (maybe six) beams are up, it’s super tense because someone always has to be holding that ring up (which weighs a ton). It was a lot of arms-over-the-head action for those guys.

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Once the beams are in, it’s fun to put on the white lining (1st layer) and the insulation (2nd layer). Although, we were pretty lucky the sun was behind a cloud during this part… that insulation is like one big sun screen!

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Here was the HARDEST part of the day. Even harder than putting in the beams. That crescent roll up there is the outer canvas of the yurt and it weighs a million pounds. Maybe not a million, but it sure seemed like it. It took 4 of us to hoist it up to the scaffolding, and then a lot of grunting and groaning to get it out of the center ring and onto the roof. I won’t even go into the madness involved with trying to spread that thing out around the yurt. Again, if you’re building a NEW yurt, your canvas comes nice and folded — like, the size of a sleeping bag — and you roll it down easily over a designated opening. With ours? It was a bit of a jumble to get it looking good. It took us about three hours on just on this part.

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And after getting the top on, we had to then put on the side insulation panels and the side canvas panels. They were heavy, but nowhere near as heavy as the top. This part was also difficult because our yurt is so high off the ground, and we had to use lean-to ladders (as opposed to the A-frame ladders) to get as high as the top. Eventually, we splurged and bought a 12-foot ladder — which is KEY for 30-foot yurt maintenance.

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Then there was the dome, being pulled up the outside to the top:

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And then, behold the yurt in all her glory after the final pieces of the structure were on! All in all, these steps took us 1.5 days to complete. Yes, it’s THAT easy!

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Sean & Mollie Busby are Osprey Packs Ambassadors. Sean is a professional backcountry snowboarder. In 2004, while training for the 2010 Olympics, Sean endured a complicated diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Considering leaving snowboarding all together, Sean was inspired by reading stories of kids living with T1D that inspired him to keep living his dreams. He founded Riding On Insulin, a nonprofit, to honor all the kids who inspired him to keep living. In February 2014, Sean became the first person with T1D to backcountry snowboard all seven continents at the age of 29 in 2014. Mollie Busby graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Journalism and Retail. A series of life-changing events brought Mollie and Sean together in February 2010, and after five months, Mollie moved west. The pair was married in September, 2011 and now resides in a 30-foot yurt with their dogs, Daisy and Glacier, in Whitefish, Montana. For more, visit Two Sticks and a Board online, or follow Sean and Mollie on Instagram.

Active Lifestyle, Conservation, Guest post, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Story of a Backcountry Underdog: Ski Blades

March 6th, 2015

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Here in Colorado the snow has been hit or miss, with heavy storms in December and basically non-existent snowfall in January for much of the west. As a result of the poor to mediocre skiing a dialogue began between myself and a couple co-workers. We began discussing couloir skiing and how reasonable it is for the time of year and how we might make it even better. Naturally ski blades were introduced into the conversation. If you’re not familiar with ski blades, simply imagine a pair of skis that instead of making it to your nose, barely make it to your hip.

A few days later the ski blades were on order and plans were made to pull touring bindings off of an old pair of skis to mount on the blades upon their arrival. All the while, heated discussions were had regarding the pros and cons of ski blades. Sure they’ll be more maneuverable in tight couloirs where jump turns will be made easy, but how will they do in powder, mixed snow conditions, how well balanced will they be for touring, will the bindings rip out? After chatting with another co-worker that happens to shoot professionally we decided it would be only reasonable to made a sweet short film about the future of backcountry touring and mountaineering.

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After the ski blades arrival we quickly got to work on grinding down screws so they wouldn’t go through the base when mounting new bindings, figuring out where on the ski to place the bindings (ended up mounting them 1cm back from center) as well as adjusting some kicker skins to fit the new setup. After a couple hours of work I was ready to set off on a three-day hut trip outside of Aspen, CO.

 

Three days later after dozens of miles of touring and skiing slopes up to 50 degrees psyche was higher than ever. Slapping the blades on my Kode ABS Compatible pack and boot packing up ridges was a breeze. Sure I fell many more times than I usually do, it took a bit more work to figure out the powder turns…but once I did I got twice as many as my friends. And don’t even get me started on the tours to and from the hut, those puppies weigh next to nothing and are not afraid to go fast.

 

In short the trip was a raging success, I anticipate spending many more days on the blades and I expect to start seeing more and more ski blades appear in the backcountry because they are the future.  DSC_9332

 

My name is Sam Feuerborn, and I have spent the last three years living in various vans in order to pursue my passions on my own schedule. Having grown up traveling and spending much of my formative years with my family outside hiking, camping and skiing it has been DSC_9344-Edita natural transition to embrace the dirtbag lifestyle.With many of my adventures fueled my coffee and stoke, I like to keep the van well stocked. With this addictive I have spent months at a time climbing in the desert, hitchhiking through Africa, mountain biking through the San Juans, backcountry skiing in the Elks, climbing in Yosemite as well as countless games of Settlers of Catan around the world. I have been lucky enough to embrace this lifestyle and make it work thanks to the support of countless friends and strangers alike, encouraging me to think outside the box and play as often as possible.

Active Lifestyle, Snowsports , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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